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[mohn] /moʊn/
a prolonged, low, inarticulate sound uttered from or as if from physical or mental suffering.
any similar sound:
the moan of the wind.
complaint or lamentation.
verb (used without object)
to utter moans, as of pain or grief.
(of the wind, sea, trees, etc.) to make any sound suggestive of such moans:
The wind moaned through the trees.
verb (used with object)
to utter (something) inarticulately or pitifully, as if in lamentation:
He moaned his response.
to lament or bemoan:
to moan one's fate.
Origin of moan
1175-1225; Middle English mone, man(e) (noun), Old English *mān, inferred from its derivative mǣnan to mourn
Related forms
moanful, adjective
moanfully, adverb
moaningly, adverb
unmoaned, adjective
unmoaning, adjective
1. See groan. 4. grieve. 4, 7. mourn. 7. deplore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for moaned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "God give that that has not befallen her," moaned Professor Maxon.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • She rocked back and forth in her chair, and moaned a little to herself.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • "I dunno what Jonathan'll do without that clock," moaned the old lady.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • She had moaned (as he expressed it) and since then had not been herself.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • But Pete moaned and turned his head from side to side with his last strength.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • He nestled against the soft down of her cloak and moaned as if in pain.

    The Very Small Person Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • He sat in his wicker chair before the fire and rocked himself and moaned.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Days and nights passed and he raved and moaned or lay in a stupor.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Mrs. Garth returned to her stool, and rocked herself and moaned.

British Dictionary definitions for moaned


a low prolonged mournful sound expressive of suffering or pleading
any similar mournful sound, esp that made by the wind
a grumble or complaint
to utter (words) in a low mournful manner
(intransitive) to make a sound like a moan
(usually intransitive) to grumble or complain (esp in the phrase moan and groan)
Derived Forms
moaner, noun
moanful, adjective
moaning, noun, adjective
moaningly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: related to Old English mǣnan to grieve over
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for moaned



c.1200, "lamentation, mourning, weeping; complaining, the expressing of complaints; a complaint; lover's complaint; accusation, charge," probably from an unrecorded Old English *man "complaint," related to Old English mænan "complain, moan," also "tell, intend, signify" (see mean (v.1)); but OED discounts this connection. Meaning "long, low inarticulate murmur from some prolonged pain" is first recorded 1670s, "with onomatopoeic suggestion" [OED].



mid-13c., "mourn (someone); regret, bewail;" c.1300, "to lament, grieve; utter moans;" probably from Old English *manan, related to mænan "to lament" (see moan (n.)). From 1724 as "to make a low, mournful sound." Related: Moaned; moaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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